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North Korea foreign minister says Trump ‘declared war,’ that country can shoot down ‘US bombers’

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North Korea stepped up the rhetoric even more today. Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho is now telling the media that President Trump’s latest comments amount to a declaration of war and they are considering shooting our bombers out of the sky even if they are in international airspace. “The whole world should clearly remember it was the US who first declared war on our country,” Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho told reporters in New York. The war drums are getting ever louder and North Korea gets more and more arrogant and aggressive with each passing day.

Ri Yong-ho added: “In light of the declaration of war by Trump, all options will be on the operations table of the supreme leadership of the [Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea].” Kim Jong-Un is not crazy and he’s not stupid. He knows that our military would destroy North Korea if they had no backing by China, Russia and Iran. Unfortunately, they do have backing and therefore, Kim feels emboldened.

Meanwhile, President Trump also raised the stakes in this game of nuclear chicken. Some reporters are calling his statements a threat of regime change. He tweeted out that Kim Jong-Un “won’t be around much longer,” which North Korea then called a declaration of war. As Ri left the UN today, he stated that his country had “every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country.” If North Korea does such a thing, it would be a blatant act of war and the United States would have no choice but to return the attack.

Yesterday, the US flew fighter jets near North Korea’s east coast. That is the farthest north any US fighter plane has flown over the demilitarized zone this century, according to the Pentagon. A Pentagon spokeswoman said the flyover was intended as a message to North Korea that President Trump had many military options at his disposal. “We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the US homeland and our allies,” said spokeswoman Dana White.

Perspectives

North Korea’s foreign minister: Trump’s words are ‘clearly a declaration of war’ – POLITICO

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/25/north-korea-foreign-minister-trump-declaration-of-war-243098“Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make counter measures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not yet inside the airspace border of our country,” he said. “The question of who won’t be around much longer will be answered then.”

North Korea says U.S. ‘declared war,’ warns it could shoot down U.S. bombers | Reuters

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles/north-korea-says-u-s-declared-war-warns-it-could-shoot-down-u-s-bombers-idUSKCN1C026AA defense expert, Bruce Bennett of the Rand Corp think tank, said North Korea would have difficulties shooting down a U.S. bomber with missiles or fighter planes given its limited capabilities, and if it tried and failed, would appear weak.

“It is unlikely to take such a risk,” he said. “So this sounds like another attempt by North Korea to ‘deter by bluster’ U.S. actions the regime does not like.”

Gold price spikes as North Korean foreign minister says Donald Trump has made a declaration of war | City A.M.

http://www.cityam.com/272661/north-korean-foreign-minister-donald-trumps-comments-wereGold futures jumped 0.5 per cent to $1,303.94 while the dollar fell 0.2 per cent against the yen to ¥111.76 after Ri’s speech, at the UN in New York today.

US says it’s not pushing for regime change in North Korea | Fox News

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/09/25/us-says-its-not-pushing-for-regime-change-in-north-korea.html“We have not declared war on North Korea. Frankly the suggestion of that is absurd,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. “It’s never appropriate for a country to shoot down another country’s aircraft when it’s over international waters.”

“Our goal is still the same. We continue to seek the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” she said.

Reactions

Final Thoughts

North Korea’s nuclear program is a clear and present danger, not just to the US, but to the world. Time is running out and a confrontation now seems inevitable. The Hermit Kingdom has just conducted their sixth nuclear test and they have reportedly developed ballistic missiles that can carry a nuclear payload and reach the US mainland. Kim has also threatened to detonate a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific. Reports have also surfaced this weekend that North Korea has a massive chemical weapons storehouse and is adding to it.

All of this follows Trump’s threat of raining down “fire and fury” on North Korea if they attack us or our allies. In his speech to the United Nations last week, Trump threatened to “totally destroy” the country and referred to Jong-Un as “Rocket Man.” Ri responded by stating that it was now “inevitable” that North Korea would target the US mainland with its rockets. He also called President Trump “a mentally deranged person full of megalomania and complacency” who was trying to turn the UN into a “gangsters’ nest.”

More rhetoric came directly from Kim, which has never happened before. He bypassed state-owned channels to give a speech where he claimed he would “surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire.” Kim feels he can get away with pretty much any threat after launching two separate missiles over Japan. In response to all of that, the UN has imposed stringent sanctions on the country, capping their oil imports, banning textile exports and barring countries from giving work visas to North Korean citizens. And China claims they are cutting North Korea off as well. I’ll believe it when I see it. China will make a show of it and still deal with their proxy through third channels as they always have. Sanctions will not work. They never have with the North Koreans.

“Enough is enough,” US ambassador Nikki Haley told the UN Security Council earlier this month. “War is never something the United States wants. We don’t want it now. But our country’s patience is not unlimited.” And war is very close now… our patience has just about run out.

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton owns and blogs at NoisyRoom.net. She is a Constitutional Conservative and NoisyRoom focuses on political, national and international issues of interest to the American public. Terresa is the editor at Trevor Loudon's site, New Zeal - trevorloudon.com and a writer and editor at Right Wing News. She also does research at KeyWiki.org. You can email Terresa here. NoisyRoom can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

Foreign Affairs

Robert Wood Johnson on the failed Iran deal

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Robert Wood Johnson on the failed Iran deal

As ambassador to the United Kingdom, Robert Wood Johnson understands the situation in Iran. He’s acutely aware that sanctions against Iran are the only thing short of military intervention that can prevent them from producing nuclear weapons in the near future. The Iran deal, the alleged hallmark of President Obama’s and Secretary of State Kerry’s legacy, has been clearly demonstrated as an utter failure.

Iran has not backed down. They’ve only placated the world when absolutely necessary with lies on top of lies. The United States is fighting back by pulling out of the deal and laying sanctions on Iran, but they need more to join the fight. Johnson is calling on his host nation to follow suit.

“Far from becoming a more responsible member of the international community, as we had all hoped, Iran grew bolder.”

Source: The Hill

US ambassador urges UK to pull out of Iran nuclear deal

http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/401458-us-ambassador-urges-uk-to-pull-out-of-iran-nuclear-deal“It is clear that the danger from Iran did not diminish in the wake of the [2015 Iran] deal,” Johnson wrote. “Far from becoming a more responsible member of the international community, as we had all hoped, Iran grew bolder.”

“It is time to move on from the flawed 2015 deal,” he continued. “We are asking global Britain to use its considerable diplomatic power and influence and join us as we lead a concerted global effort toward a genuinely comprehensive agreement.”

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Economy

Tariffs on Turkey: Bad for the economy but damaging to a dangerous dictator

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Tariffs on Turkey Bad for the economy but damaging to a dangerous dictator

Say what you will about President Trump’s foreign and economic policies. Whether you support them or not, it’s hard to deny that they’ve made things much more interesting.

The latest move by the President to impose stiff tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum may seem in line with how he’s been treating the national and world economies recently, but more is at stake with this move than previous ones.

There are two factors at play that make this move different from previous tariffs. First, it is not purely economic but is a response to Turkey continuing to hold pastor Andrew Brunson for allegedly supporting the coup attempt of 2016. Second, the tariffs come at a time when Turkey’s currency, the lira, is in free fall.

It was already starting to show signs of failure when leaders from both countries pushed it even further down. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan added more challenges for the lira when he asked his people to convert their foreign currency and gold, a sign of trouble that will likely have the opposite effect.

Erdogan calls on Turks to convert hard currency, gold into lira

https://www.reuters.com/article/turkey-economy-currency-erdogan/erdogan-calls-on-turks-to-convert-hard-currency-gold-into-lira-idUSA4N1TM024Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday called on citizens to convert their hard currency and gold into lira, after the local currency tumbled to a record low this week, reflecting investor concern about a widening diplomatic rift with the United States.

Erdogan, in a speech in Ankara, also said Turkey was diverting to the Chinese market to overcome what he said were “subjective evaluations” from ratings agencies. Erdogan has repeatedly railed against credit raters, saying their downgrades of Turkey’s sovereign debt to “junk” status were politically motivated.

Seizing on the free fall, President Trump made matters worse for for the lira with the sanctions:

Trump authorizes doubling of metals tariffs on Turkey

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/10/trump.html“I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar! Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!” Trump wrote.

Losses in the the Turkish lira deepened on Trump’s tweet, falling as much as 20 percent vs. the U.S. dollar in Friday trading.

Erdogan is now calling this an economic war with the United States and claims he will not back down. Meanwhile, the Euro and other currencies are also feeling the heat:

Euro tumbles as investors fear bank exposures to Turkey

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-global-forex/euro-whacked-on-turkey-turmoil-as-investors-scramble-for-safety-idUSKBN1KV07M“You’ve had a fairly sharp move lower in the euro and it’s broken through key technical levels as well,” said Richard Franulovich, head of FX strategy at Westpac Banking Corp in New York.

The euro dropped below technical support at $1.15 to $1.1421, down 0.91 percent on the day and the lowest since July 2017. Against the yen, the euro slid 1 percent to 126.79 yen, a two-month low.

Now, the criticism and praise of President Trump’s moves will be debated for days, maybe weeks.

My Take

As I’ve stated on many occasions, I’m not a fan of tariffs. They are misunderstood by most, particularly the President, and no longer yield the results they did in previous centuries. From an economic perspective, I oppose this move.

The bigger picture is how this is being used as a pressure tactic against Turkey. Currently, I like it a lot. That opinion could change based on how things go, but moves like these that apply pressure against a dangerous dictator of the false ally that Turkey has become are welcome. It isn’t just about securing Brunson’s release, though that’s extremely important. Turkey is a rising power on every spectrum that is increasingly turning to Russia and China for help instead of their “friends” in NATO.

The strategic importance of Turkey as a hub that connects Europe, west Asia, and the Middle East cannot be understated. In an ideal situation, Turkey would still be a good ally as they once were. Erdogan has taken advantage of two past U.S. Presidents and seemed poised last year to start taking advantage of President Trump. That doesn’t seem to be happening anymore.

Is this the right way to handle Erdogan? Probably not. Whether it is or not will be revealed in coming weeks. One thing is certain: we’re seeing things being done from the White House that we’ve never seen before and may never see again. It’s troubling, but at least it’s entertaining.

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Foreign Affairs

Yes, Trudeau made a tactical error with Saudi Arabia. And it was the right move.

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Yes Trudeau made a tactical error with Saudi Arabia And it was the right move

I am no fan of the far-left Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. His worldview is flawed and his actions are based solely on maintaining left-wing power over Canada. Last week, he made a huge tactical error by going after Saudi Arabia for human rights violations using Twitter. It has hurt Canada and achieved nothing.

And I fully support it.

It’s the first and probably last time I knowingly support an action by Trudeau, but it’s an important one.

Here’s the background:

Trudeau made a glaring tactical error that’s getting Canada hammered by Saudi Arabia

https://www.sfgate.com/technology/businessinsider/article/Trudeau-made-a-glaring-tactical-error-that-s-13143619.phpOn Friday, Canada’s foreign-affairs Twitter handle urged the “immediate release” from imprisonment of the Saudi women’s-rights activist Samar Badawi and others detained for similar activities in the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia issued a blistering response, quickly and sometimes harshly turning its state-run media to bash Canada.

In less than a week, Saudi Arabia then expelled its Canadian ambassador, froze all new investment, canceled all flights to Toronto, pulled thousands of students from Canadian institutions, barred its citizens from getting medical treatment in Canadian hospitals, and reportedly sold off all its Canadian assets.

This oddly Trumpian move was likely done in an attempt to score political points. I won’t give him so much credit as to herald him as brave. However, the way in which this was handled is, in my unpopular opinion, the right way to go.

Saudi Arabia has been one of the worst opponents to human rights for decades. The Kingdom has been protected by America and other nations because of their petroleum influence as well as the vast wealth they throw around the globe. While many have heralded their recent shift away from traditional human rights offenses that have been their hallmark, these moves are far from being adequate.

In other words, this is still a backwards nation that holds way too much sway while getting away with pretty much everything they do.

Critics of Trudeau say his tactical error has hurt Canada. They are right. But it’s a temporary pain that they’ll feel. Critics will also point out that this does nothing to advance the cause of coaxing Saudi Arabia to act more civilized, more modern. On this criticism, I completely disagree.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has ambitions that go well beyond ruling the Kingdom. He wants to be a world leader, one that controls the Middle East and influences every nation across the globe. To do this, he will need to be universally revered. That means detractors and critics must be hushed.

If we put aside the notion that Trudeau’s actions were self-serving, we can see some benefit in it. Whether or not other world leaders are willing to do the same or continue to cower in fear to the Crown Prince remains to be seen.

What Trudeau has done is speak out against an oppressive regime in a way that most, including the U.S. President, would never dare to do. Is it a tactical mistake to do so? Of course. Was it the right thing to do? I believe it was.

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